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Sad that politics is being played over contributions of Maulana Azad, Acharya Kriplani: Modi

Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Nov.11 (ANI): Gujarat Chief Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, Narendra Modi, on Monday, expressed his deep anguish over certain sections of society reducing stalwarts of the country’s freedom struggle to mere partisan political leaders.

Writing in his blog on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversaries of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Acharya J B Kripalani, Modi said: “It is with deep anguish that I see how some of our friends have reduced stalwarts of the freedom struggle to mere partisan political leaders.There can be no greater disservice to our history than viewing these stalwarts through the narrow prism of political partisanship.”

Stating that it is high time to realize that these leaders transcended barriers of caste, community, creed or party lines, Modi said: “Their ideals and legacy are not for any party, but for the entire nation to get inspired.”

“What is equally worrying is the tendency of “speculative history” where some celebrity historians have appropriated to themselves the authority to speculate what some historical figure would have said or done,” he added.

Referring specifically to the relations between Azad and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Gujarat Chief Minister said: “Yes, it is a fact that both Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel differed on many issues. But, it is equally a fact that both were guided by their absolute love and devotion for India, and both of them worked together on several occasions under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Emphatically stating that debate, discussion and disagreements are a part and parcel of a vibrant democracy like India, Modi said: “Our ancient texts believed that learning is a continuous process. Knowledge and understanding must evolve with time and must not remain frozen in the polemics of the past.”

“It is in this light, that I want to share Maulana Azad’s thoughts on Sardar Patel, which were published in his work ‘India Wins Freedom.’ Maulana Azad describes not running again for Congress President as his first mistake. As for his second mistake he wrote: “My second mistake was that when I decided not to stand myself, I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues, but I am convinced that he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan. I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different.”

Modi described both Azad and Kriplani as “historical figures who have been erased from public memory just because they did not belong to a particular family.”

Apparently training his guns on the Nehru-Gandhi family, he said: “The history of India is the history or the struggle of countless men and women who devoted a lifetime to the clarion call of the Motherland. Just because they did not belong to a particular family, should we erase them from public memory or remember them less?”

Through his blog, Modi also announced that an online portal on Maulana Azad would be launched today by the Centre containing his digital archives.

He asked: “This is a welcome thing, but one must also ask why they only paid lip service to his (Patel’s) legacy all these decades? Should things like this not have come much earlier?

He concluded by saying that he was ever hopeful about all the citizens of the country creating an India which stalwarts of the freedom struggle had dreamt of.

He said that both Azad and Kriplani were extremely inspiring personalities who left an important mark in India’s history before and after Independence.

Of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, he said he was blessed with a revolutionary streak from a young age, and did not hesitate to attack and criticise India’s colonial rulers.

“He occupied an important place in the Congress party. He served as India’s first Education Minister. Maulana Azad will also be remembered for his steadfast opposition to partition of India,” said Modi.

On Acharya Kripalani, the Gujarat Chief Minister said that the former embraced Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership during the Champaran Satyagraha and he too went on to occupy an important role in the organisation of the Congress.

“After Independence, he left the Congress and went on to form the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, which later merged with the Socialist Party to form the Praja Socialist Party. Acharya Kripalani created history when he moved the first ever no-confidence motion against the Government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963. The motion came in the backdrop of India’s humiliating defeat to China, which was attributed to the misplaced idealism and lack of preparedness on the part of our first Prime Minister and then Defence Minister Shri V K Krishna Menon,” said Modi in his blog.

Acharya Kripalani, he recalled, was unsparingly critical of Krishna Menon on repeated occasions on the floor of the Lok Sabha.

“His spirited contest against Krishna Menon from North Bombay in 1962 as the joint candidate of all Opposition parties barring the Communists is still remembered. He became one of the staunchest critics of the Emergency as well,” said Modi. (ANI)